What is known and what is not known about the 2030 World Cup: there will be more than 100 matches but the venues will not be known until 2026 | Soccer | Sports

The 2022 World Cup, a tournament that was held in Qatar in winter.
The 2022 World Cup, a tournament that was held in Qatar in winter.GETTY

The organization of a World Cup is a complex process in which FIFA establishes itself as the organizer of the World Cup and the hosts give up their territory and infrastructure. The local organizing committees have given way to a society created by FIFA that decides everything: the venues and stadiums that host the matches, sponsors, hotels for the teams, training fields, etc. This model was already established in the World Cup in Qatar and was previously implemented by Infantino for the Euro Cups when he was general director of UEFA. This is intended to avoid corruption and favored treatment that used to occur with local organizing committees.

48 teams, 104 matches and a month and a half of competition

The new format of the World Cup will debut in the 2026 World Cup and will be the same in 2030. 48 teams will participate, compared to the 32 before, and they will be divided into 12 groups of four. The first two and the eight best third parties will advance to the group stage. The increase in participants will lead to one more tie, the round of 32, and the event will last up to 40 days of competition for a total of 104 matches, 40 more than in the previous model.

The six hosts are already classified

Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay are already classified as hosts. That the South Americans have been granted the ticket for only organizing one match, the inaugural one, in Montevideo, and the first matches from Argentina and Paraguay in their respective countries has generated controversy. Especially in Chile, which has been left out of that first round of parties in South America when it was a member of the initial candidacy. Alejandro Domínguez, president of Conmebol, has transferred responsibility to FIFA. However, as this newspaper has learned, there was only the possibility of including three countries and what has weighed on the election is the status of Uruguay as organizer of the first World Cup in 1930, that of Argentina as current world champion and that Domínguez is Paraguayan and the headquarters of Conmebol is in Asunción. In addition, it is also alleged that Chile was the last to join the candidacy. There has been an internal war in which Uruguayans, Argentines and Paraguayans have left Chile out.

The opening match will be in Montevideo and the final at the Santiago Bernabéu

Among the requirements demanded by FIFA is to have at least 14 stadiums available, of which seven of them must already be built. FIFA will probably expand the 2030 World Cup venues to two or three more venues. The final stadium must have a capacity of at least 80,000 people. The chosen one, although it is not official, is the Santiago Bernabéu. The brand new remodeling that is now being completed, the status of Real Madrid as a founding club of FIFA and the good relationship between Florentino Pérez and Gianni Infantino have been decisive. In addition, each candidacy must offer 72 training camps so that the 48 participating teams can choose.

The final venues will be known in 2026

The cities and stadiums in Spain, Portugal and Morocco that will host the 2030 World Cup will be known in 2026. Until reaching that final choice, which will be carried out by FIFA, there will have been a long selection process that culminates in the final selection. . The normal thing is that each country presents the greatest number of venues possible to have more options to host a greater number of matches. Spain will be the venue with the most weight in the number of matches to be hosted, but it will be difficult to host any of the semifinals once the opening match will be played in Montevideo and the final in Madrid. Portugal and Morocco aspire to host a semi-final each.

Key evaluation criteria for applications and their venues

FIFA evaluates venues according to a criterion that gives 70% importance to total infrastructure and 30% to commercial exploitation. In terms of infrastructure, stadiums weigh in the final grade (35%), hotels and training camps for national teams and referees (10%), hotel accommodation (7.5%) for fans, transportation (7.5%). %), Fan Zones for fans (5%) and spaces dedicated to the IBC (international broadcast center). Each installation will be scored as follows: between 0 and 1.9, it does not meet the minimum requirements, between 2 and 2.9, satisfactory, between 3 and 3.9, good, and between 4 and 5, very good.

Legacy and other aspects to take into account

FIFA also gives importance to the legacy that the World Cup will leave in the countries that host it as well as in their surrounding territories. The economic impact that the World Cup will have is stipulated to help the development of grassroots and women’s football, as well as the infrastructure that can contribute to this development. When deciding on a candidacy, FIFA also takes into account the support of the governments of the organizing countries, as well as the rest of the political forces.

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